To exit Split Screen mode, just drag the black line all the way up or down. And, finally (at least for this list), there's the conversations widget. If you really want to keep your device protected from meddling while it's in someone else's hands and/or claws, take a minute to reacquaint yourself with Android's clever and practical Guest Mode. That means that apps which require some location information, but not precise location data, can be limited to only having your approximate location available. Be the master of your Google-powered device. Take a moment to rediscover 'em and remind yourself what you've been missing. The Chrome shortcut sidebar you didn't know you needed. You can pin up to four different sharing targets, if you want, and they'll all appear in alphabetical order in a special row at the top of that menu. It's an exceptionally simple feature, but one that's super useful, and yet not easy enough to find. On Samsung phones, you'll also have to expand your volume panel (by tapping the little down-facing arrow within it) to find the Live Caption option and the option will show up as a toggle instead of the simpler box icon that we've been talking about here. Tap it the actual line that says "Do Not Disturb" and not the toggle next to it, if there is one and then look for the "Schedules" option (or for "Turn on as scheduled," with Samsung). You'll probably need to find the associated section and flip a toggle into the on position within it to activate the feature and, depending on your device (hi, Samsung folk! This will slow users down, though. That means you'll only need to be within Bluetooth range (which is roughly 30 feet, or 10 meters), in order to utilize this functionality. Here's where to get started. If not, and you see a button titled Manage instead, go ahead and tap that. When you're ready to exit out of Guest Mode and get back to normal, just open up the Quick Settings panel again, tap that user profile picture again, and select "Remove guest" from the menu that comes up. venturebeat takahashi fn competition There's a Google Maps widget that will allow you to search for whatever you want with just a tap. How to make Gmail's desktop interface infinitely better, A standout new Android launcher for ergonomic efficiency. Now, you can use Nearby Share to send someone the wifi credentials necessary to share with you. While I can imagine some utility for this feature, it involved far too many taps for my taste. This takes you to another screen where you'll tap Schedules. The feature is unfortunately complicated by the fact that lots of apps, including many of Google's own utilities, now use custom share interfaces instead of relying on the system standard (grumble, grumble, grumble). As todays phones continue to grow in size, they become harder and harder to operate one-handed. Tap that. Try looking up your phone model and searching one-handed keyboard to learn more. This will then allow you to capture roughly three times the length of your screen (or any amount in between). If youve ever lended a friend or young family member your phone, you probably know that sudden anxiety that comes with the possibility of them going through your private information or posting to your social media accounts. By That's it. Then just open up any app you want and if you're using Android's gesture system, swipe up from the bottom of your screen to get to Android's Overview interface. You can also just opt to activate Focus Mode on demand when you want it which essentially turns it into a universally available multi-app version of the App Pausing concept. At the bottom of that box, you should see three dots. Swipe all the way to the bottom where you'll see the "App grid" section. Few things are more annoying than trying to utilize the rotate feature of a phone when lying down. This next tucked-away treat was first added into Android way back in the 2016 Nougat era but then taken away for a while and only brought back with last year's Android 11 release. If you don't recall what "haptic feedback" is, it's just tiny vibrations that can help give digital interfaces a more tactile feel. David Nield Android 12 is taking this a step forward by integrating the haptic functionality of our phones with sound. Contributing Editor JR Raphael serves up tasty morsels about the human side of technology. When you do, a small box will pop up on the screen, showing which volume setting is changing and how. Swipe your way to the app you want to pin and tap on the circular icon at the top of the preview. You can also force it to require you to tap more forcefully to activateuseful for the more fidgety among us. Dig into the settings and tweaks available for your Android phone and youll find a host of clever features and useful tools. It's the ability to customize the order of apps in your phone's system-level Share menu which means can then keep your own most frequently used sharing destinations at the top of the list for easy ongoing access. This story has been updated. This clever Chrome collaboration tool deserves your A neat new trick to try with Gboard on Android, A sanity-saving typing trick for Gboard on Android. In such moments, all I've gotta do is tap a little box that shows up beneath the volume controls whenever any kind of media is playing on my device and holy moly, wouldya look at that? To set it up, open the app carousel by doing a short swipe up gesture from the bottom of your screen. If you want to turn this on, first swipe down on your screen to show your notifications. You can elect to stream your gameplay live via YouTube, engage optimization (aka drain your battery), turn on a frame rate counter, turn on a do-not-disturb switch, and add a recording and/or screenshot shortcut to your game screen. Drag this icon to an empty space on one of your home screens and drop it in place, and a list will automatically pop up. Tap them, and the box will expand to show multiple volume sliders at once. Android's got a native way to do that for you automatically if you know where it is and remember to set it up.

Drag up to the right-hand icon to enable one-handed mode. Here's one for the real techies out there! See 'em? It happensyou accidentally swiped away one of the notifications that you wanted to read fully and now you have a nagging sense someone emailed you, but are not sure. See the line that says "Do Not Disturb"? ericsson louder To turn this on, find an empty space on your home screen and press down for about one full second. Exclusive extras await!]. Unfortunately, unless you're a die-hard Android fanjumping into blogs, or trawling through every menu upon a new releaseyou might not have noticed these neat features as they're not intuitively accessible, or not widely supported by 3rd party apps (yet), or have become the background default. One of the most useful features to come into Android in ages is also one of the least well-known and discoverable. Wait 'til you see this, 5 Android 12 features you can bring to any phone today, 6 secret settings for smarter sharing in Chrome on Android, 10 handy hidden Android features you probably forget to use, The secret to shuffling around emails in Gmail, Give Google Docs some powerful new shortcuts, How to create your own custom Chrome address bar actions, The Android app that's single-handedly saving my sanity, How to give Chrome a super-simple security upgrade. It lets you lock one specific app or process to your screen and then requires you to unlock your device before anything else can be accessed. 3 clever new tricks to turn Google Docs into a 12 Android settings that'll strengthen your security, 6 secret settings for better browsing in Chrome on Android. What about MPEG-H 3D Audio? AVIF is a fairly new image file format (like jpeg, png, or gif) that provides greater quality images at even better compression rates. Whether that means sharing a wifi connection, or sharing some specific link or media from your phone, everything has been made (theoretically) easier. What does this mean in simple terms, though? You can tell, from the promotional material, that they are hella proud of it. Once youve turned on the feature, launch the app your friend needs to use. However, Android gives you a quick-and-easy shortcut. Essentially, if you use a wallpaper with primarily blue hues, your icons, and app backgrounds, will be shaded in blue hues that echo the nature of your wallpaper. Tap that to display a small controller icon which you then tap to bring up the dashboard (at last!). That'll erase and reset everything that was done in that temporary profile and take you back to your own standard environment (once you've put in your PIN, pattern, or passcode or used your preferred appendage to prove that you're actually you). The first one is somewhat familiar to anyone who's found previous Android surprises. In this way, you could know who's calling you even if your ringer is off. You can think of App Shortcuts as direct links to specific functions within apps on your phone ways you can get to individual actions or areas within an app without having to go through the typical process of opening it up, hunting around through its menus, and tapping multiple commands to get where you want to go. [Related: A beginners guide to using Android]. I recommend the shortcut. Android 12 now supports AVIF images, HEVC video transcoding, and MPEG-H 3D Audio. The Google Drive widget simplifies and speeds up the process of accessing and uploading files.

The first one is the option to make sure that only apps that require your exact location can access it. I'm talkin' about the Alt-Tab-like fast app-switching function that was first introduced way back in 2016's Android 7 and remains one of my favorite Android shortcuts to this day (along with, of course, all those awesome Gboard shortcuts we talked about last week!). Every new Android OS release comes with its own special Easter egg(s). Open up the keyboard as normal and tap and hold on the comma key. When you get there, one of the first options will be "Notification history." It's called Live Caption, and it's technically an accessibility feature for folks who have a hard time hearing. Assuming this is accurate, you'll always be able to know when you're being listened to, or watched. But for any app that's actually doing things in a sensible way and using the standard Android share menu, take note: So long as your phone is running Android 11, you can press and hold your finger to any item in that sharing list to pin it to the top.

It's basically like an incognito mode for your entire phone: You just flip a switch, say "Wowser bowser, hubba bubba" for good measure, and then watch your phone shift itself into a blank-slate state where your own personal apps, accounts, and data are all securely tucked away and you get an out-of-the-box-like experience, with only the basic preinstalled system apps available. I'll probably get the most use out of this one, myself. However you get there, once you're on the right settings screen, make sure the main toggle for the feature is activated and make sure the toggle next to "Ask for unlock pattern before unpinning" (or "Use lock screen type to unpin," with Samsung) is also in the on position. You've always been able to adjust the size of your icons, but Android has made the options even more accessibility-minded by introducing the jumbo-sized 2x2 grid arrangement for your app icons. Take advantage of this flexibility by setting up the defaults as you want them. Once activated, tapping the back of the phone twice will, by default, take a screenshot.

Take advantage of a mirroring shortcut in the Quick Settings pane, which you can access by dragging down from the top of the screen with two fingers. You can also do less of a flick and more of an arching swipe moving your finger upward, ever so slightly, as you slide toward the left or the right on the bottom of the screen if you want to get a better look at the apps in the list before making the switch. In 24 hours I receive a lot of notifications. Yippee! Here you'll be presented with a variety of interesting options, though not all of them will be supported by every game. There's a little something for everyone to be excited about in this newest update, whether you're interested in games, security, or just making your overall smartphone experience more convenient and comfortable. Android 12 offers the option to automatically identify the orientation of your face relative to the phone and adjust its rotation intelligently. One of Android 12's most impressive hidden features is the Game Mode dashboard. Some of this we've covered earlier, such as the Easter egg widget and the Material You color customization. Copyright 2022 IDG Communications, Inc. Word for Microsoft 365 cheat sheet: Ribbon quick reference, The Polish IT market shows resilience despite challenges in H1. There's the option to put photos on your screen, as if your phone were a sort of digital mantlepiece. Essentially, the user wont be able to access any other parts of your phone without your code. A quick note before we begin: Android has a wide variety of makes, models, and versions, which makes it more difficult to find features that will be consistent across all devices. Theres also another way to set up mirroring. But this makes it more inconvenient to access your apps.

Just like magic, every word being uttered in the video or audio clip shows up on my screen so I can read it whilst having the actual sound turned all the way down. This feature won't be for everyone, but for those with poor vision, or people who just don't have much on their phone, this may help considerably. From there, tap the Font size and drag the slider at the bottom of the screen to make text larger or smaller as needed. That means your smart watch, TV, or whatever else that's running Android 12 under the same user will conform to the same aesthetics. The system isn't as fully featured and versatile as I'd like, but it's still pretty useful. And you know what? On the Schedules screen, you should see Gaming and a little gear icon to the right of it. By JR Raphael, This allows you to make any text conversation a distinct icon. As well as disabling the lock screen when youre at home (thats the Trusted Places option), you can also disable the screen when your phones Bluetooth is connected to a trusted device, such as your car stereo unit, or when it detects you have it on you. Android 12 was released on October 4, 2021, but even though it's been a part of a select few Android users' phones for a while now, there are still quite a few exciting new features that you're probably unaware of! And it'll then stay in that place for all future sharing, anytime the standard system menu is used. Hungry for more? This ability is possiblethough the option isnt easy to find. First, check to make sure youve installed the Google Home app for Androidyou probably already used this program to set up your Chromecast. You need to get your finger in just the right position to make it work without causing the wrong thing to happen.

That means you can have a picture that has a smaller hard drive footprint than a JPEG, while also looking better.

Or, heck, it can even simulate auditory 3D space in headphones, for those that support it. If an app accesses your clipboard, a little notification will pop up at the bottom of the screen and fill you in. 6 custom Android shortcuts that'll supercharge your 6 Android settings for smarter notifications. Scroll about halfway down to the Display option, tap that, then select the Auto-rotate screen option. Go to your widgets settings, and at the top you'll find the "Android S Easter Egg." You'll get updates on the icon, including notifications of new messages, and how many unread there are. That said, "zip" is perhaps an exaggeration. To use the feature, first search your system settings for App pinning or, if you're using a Samsung phone (where things are always arbitrarily renamed for no apparent reason), search instead for the far less logical Pin windows term. If you drag the hands on the clock so that they read 12, you'll get to see a big number 12 surrounded by bubbles that make it look like you're taking a color blindness test. The idea is actually quite sensible: Say you're passing your phone off to a friend, a co-worker, or some manner of rabid jungle bird maybe so they can see a document, look at something on a website, or peck out a quick call while their own tiny bird-phone isn't handy. Tap the icon at the top of the card for your current app, and lookie what we have there: a snazzy new Pin option! If you're still using Android's older three-button navigation system, fear not, for you can do this, too part of it, anyway: Just double-tap the Overview key (the square-shaped icon next to Back and Home) anytime to quickly zap between your two most recently used processes. It doesn't seem to allow more than that, but this is still a serious improvement over the previous default. If it doesnt show up, swipe left on the Quick Settings menu for more options, or tap the pencil icon at the bottom to add the shortcut. Tap the snooze icon an alarm clock with a "Z" inside it in Google's own version of Android or a bell in Samsung's version of the software and you'll be able to send the notification away and have it return anew in 15 minutes, half an hour, one hour, or two hours. My broken Android phone epiphany, 14 ways Google Lens can save you time on Android, 12 handy hidden tricks for Google Calendar on Android. Lots of devices and apps currently use HEVC, but many don't. Give it a tap and the top half of the screen will slide down. But there's a lot more to this, and here I'd like to run through a bunch of the most interesting things you can drop on your screen. [Related: 4 ways to know if iOS or Android is better for you]. So Googles custom keyboard, which is the default option on certain Android phones, has a solution: A special one-handed mode that you can switch to with a simple shortcut. This feature has been around since Android 7.0 Nougat, but its one of the few users tend to forget about. And when you find a shortcut that seems especially useful for the way you work, remember this extra invisible trick: You can pull any shortcut out of an app's long-press menu and put it directly on your home screen for even easier one-tap access. It's a pretty powerful form of privacy protection, wouldn't ya say? Now, this functionality is a native feature of Android. The central feature of Material You is the way it devises a system-wide color scheme drawn from your wallpaper, which it can sync across several devices to create a homogenized, yet unique visual experience. This view side-by-side or top-and-bottom app view (depending on the orientation of your screen) comes in handy when you want to display photos, optimize your social networking, or multitask. Well, Android has a little-known system that can let you pause any specific app on demand and silence it and only it until further notice.

And, to be fair, it's pretty nifty.